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Currently I am undertaking an internship in Utrecht, Netherlands with the renowned design team consisting of Tejo Remy + Rene Veenhuizen. Through this blog I plan to document my design experience in Holland.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kroller Muller Museum- Jan Fabre Exhibition

I just have two weeks of my internship left. It feels as though I am trying to pack a lot of travel into the last few weeks. In the last two weeks I have been to Venice to see the Biennale and to Sweden to visit a good friend from back in the University days.

I am now in the process of entertaining my parents who are visiting Holland for a few weeks. I have just sent them off on a cycling trip to Arnhem, which is what reminded me that I needed to post about my visit to the Kroller Muller museum

The Kroller Muller museum is a very impressive gallery in the middle of the Hogue Veluwe National park. It is the last place that you would expect to find such a good museum. You can be cycling through some very diverse nature for 15 kilometers or so and then come across this gallery which holds many works of Van Gough’s and Rembrant in there collection. Originally the museum collection was privately owned by wealth art collectors Helen + Anton Kroller. The couple owned a 12,000 piece collection with over 200 paintings of Van Gough’s. However, the came across financial troubles and risked losing there collection to debt collectors. So the couple donated the works and National Park to the Dutch government in1935, who have maintained the collection ever since

Currently the museum is showing a major exhibition of Jan Fabre’s sculptural works in an exhibition titled Hortus/Corpus. Fabre is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist who currently has many sculptural works on display at the Kroller Muller museum. A diverse range of materials are employed in the works. I was most impressed by the large-scale works created from jewel-scarab wing cases. The metallic wing cases, change in colour as you gain a different perspective on the work. Ranging from a luminescent green to a deep royal blue.

Filling the centre of the large sculpture gallery space is a work titled “I had to demolish a part of the ceiling of the royal palace because there was something growing out of it (2008.”

This is a large scale works inspired from the piece developed for the ceiling of the Belgium royal’s. The piece took over 2 million bug shells to create the work. The exhibition piece references the black pages in Belgium’s Colonial history. The scale and realism in the piece, creates a very strong and impacting work.

The exhibition continues on for rooms + rooms and spills out into the large outdoor sculptural display at the national park. The works use materials ranging from glass, steel, ceramics, + gold. Many of the works reference the scarab wing cases, whether it be employing this as a medium or using the shape as an influence on the form of other works.

Anyway, if you are kicking around in Holland I would highly recommend that you visit the museum. It is totally worth the drive.

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